United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Maria Luisa Iglesias De Castro, Maria Irene Castro Iglesias, Maria de la Concepcion Castro Iglesias and Maria Luisa Castro Iglesias, Plaintiffs,
Maria Regina Castro and Pedro Jose Caraballo, Defendants.
ELIZABETH COWAN WRIGHT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
case is before the Court on Defendants' letter requesting
permission to file a motion to reconsider paragraph 3 of the
Court's October 10, 2019 Informal Dispute Resolution
(“IDR”) Order. (Dkt. 51.) Paragraph 3 of the
October 10 Order re-designated monthly account statements,
records of electronic transfers and withdrawals, and
cancelled checks produced by Defendants from Attorneys'
Eyes Only (“AEO”) to Confidential, subject to
certain additional restrictions on the disclosure of the
re-designated documents to Plaintiffs. (Dkt. 50 ¶ 3.)
Plaintiffs filed a response to Defendants' letter on
October 14, 2019. (Dkt. 52.)
to file motions to reconsider are granted “only upon a
showing of compelling circumstances.” D. Minn. L.R.
7.1(j). A motion to reconsider should not be employed
“to relitigate old issues, ” but rather to
“afford an opportunity for relief in extraordinary
circumstances.” Dale & Selby Superette &
Deli v. U.S. Dept. of Agric., 838 F.Supp. 1346, 1348 (D.
Minn. 1993) (internal quotation marks omitted). Indeed,
“‘[m]otions for reconsideration serve a limited
function: to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to
present newly discovered evidence.'” Munro v.
Lucy Activewear, Inc., No. 016CV00079JRTKMM, 2018 WL
4094845, at *2 (D. Minn. Aug. 28, 2018 (quoting Hagerman
v. Yukon Energy Corp., 839 F.2d 407, 414 (8th Cir.
1988)). Here, for the reasons stated below, Defendants have
not made a showing of compelling circumstances.
in this case are a mother (“Maria Luisa”) and her
three daughters. (Dkt. 1 ¶ 13.) Plaintiffs allege claims
for civil theft, conversion, and unjust enrichment to recover
monies allegedly stolen from them by family members.
(Id. ¶¶ 64-80.) Plaintiffs claim that
after Maria Luisa's husband died in 1991, his brother
engaged in a secretive, multi-year scheme with Defendants to
steal and misappropriate both Maria Luisa's share of
profits from an ongoing partnership business and the money
her husband left for Maria Luisa and her daughters.
(Id. ¶ 37.) Defendants deny these allegations.
April 2019, the parties jointly requested resolution of a
dispute involving Defendants' designation of their
financial records as AEO through the Court's IDR process.
(See Dkt. 37.) The Court held the IDR hearing on
April 22, 2019, and on the same day ordered as follows:
1. Plaintiffs' request that the Court remove
Defendants' blanket AEO designations of financial
documents produced by Defendants and third-party bank records
and require Defendants to seek Court approval in the future
for use of the AEO designation is DENIED.
2. Defendants shall review the financial documents they
intend to produce and shall identify for Plaintiffs, to the
extent possible, those relating to the transactions
identified in Plaintiffs' Complaint and Exs. A & B to
3. To the extent Defendants seek to designate the financial
documents they intend to produce and the third-party bank
records as AEO (rather than Confidential), Defendants shall
review those documents to determine if they are in fact
entitled to an AEO designation and shall designate them based
on that review.
4. Plaintiffs may request that specific documents or
categories of documents be re-designated Confidential rather
than AEO, and Defendants shall work with Plaintiffs in good
faith in determining if the documents can be re-designated to
Confidential. If the parties are not able to reach agreement
as to certain documents or categories of documents,
Plaintiffs may seek relief from the Court.
a follow-up hearing on June 19, 2019, the Court ordered
Defendants to provide dates for the re-productions required
by Paragraphs 2 and 3 and required Defendants to re-produce
“each document as a complete document with the correct
confidentiality designation on each page.” (Dkt. 41.)
September 30, 2019, the parties sent a joint request to the
undersigned's chambers requesting an IDR hearing
regarding a dispute over amendment of the Pretrial Scheduling
Order, based in part on an apparently still-ongoing dispute
over Defendants' AEO designations. The parties filed
letters setting forth their respective positions as to
amendment of the Pretrial Scheduling Order and the AEO
designations on October 7, 2019. (Dkts. 46, 47.) Plaintiffs
contended that about 9, 000 pages of documents were
improperly designated as AEO and identified two categories of
documents (monthly account statements and cancelled checks,
including those written by or to Maria Luisa's deceased
husband's brother) as examples supporting that
contention. (Dkt. 46 at 3-4.) Defendants contended that
Plaintiffs were again seeking “blanket re-designation
of all financial documents” and that Plaintiffs'
request was “essentially seeking a reconsideration of
the Court's [April 22] Order” and required a formal
motion for reconsideration. (Dkt. 47 at 4-5.)
Court held the IDR hearing on October 9, 2019. During the
hearing, Defendants' counsel identified a receipt for
breakfast cereal from the 1990s and a document showing how
much was paid for a daughter's college apartment as
examples of documents produced by Defendants that were
currently designated as AEO. Defendants' counsel also
stated that Defendants had used the AEO designation on
documents that some would consider “mundane”
because they had nothing to do with this lawsuit. Defendants
did not provide the Court with any case where personal
financial records of the type at issue here were designated
AEO. Defendants did not provide any explanation why the
categories of documents identified by Plaintiffs in their
October 7 letter were entitled to an AEO designation.
Instead, Defendants argued that this issue was controlled by
the April 22 Order and that Plaintiffs should have sought
reconsideration. During the October 9 IDR hearing, the Court
found that Plaintiffs did not need to seek reconsideration of
the April 22 Order because Defendants had not complied with
the Court's directions in that Order, specifically the
direction that: “To the extent Defendants seek to
designate the financial documents they intend to produce and
the third-party bank records as AEO (rather than
Confidential), Defendants shall review those
documents to determine if they are in fact entitled to an AEO
designation and shall designate them based on that
review.” (Dkt. 39 ¶ 3 (emphasis
added).) The Court also noted that Defendants' own
description of the documents during the hearing confirmed
that they were not entitled to AEO protection. On October 10,
2019, the Court issued its Order granting in part
Plaintiffs' motion to downward designate the financial
documents to Confidential and setting several limitations on
how the re-designated documents could be disclosed and used.
(Dkt. 50 ¶ 3.)
their October 11 reconsideration request, Defendants state
that the April 22 Order entitled them to designate bank
statements, electronic transfer, withdrawal records, and
cancelled checks, along with other documents, as AEO if there
was a good faith basis for doing so. (Dkt. 51 at 1.)
Defendants contend that they “have been operating under
the understanding that bank account statements and other
financial documents would be designated as AEO.”
(Id. at 2.) Defendants also contend that they
“never expected that the ability to designate financial
documents and bank records as AEO as set forth ...